Race/ethnicity, nativity, and tobacco Use among U.S. Young adults: Results From a nationally representative survey


Introduction: A growing body of research documents racial/ethnic disparities in U.S. cigarette smoking. To date, however, few studies have examined the influence of nativity, in addition to race/ethnicity, on current and ever use of cigarettes as well as other tobacco products among young adults. Here, racial/ethnic and nativity disparities in tobacco use and self-identified smoking status are documented for U.S. women and men aged 18-34, both unadjusted and adjusted for socioeconomic status. Methods: The Legacy Young Adult Cohort Study (N = 3,696) was used to examine gender-specific tobacco use and smoking status differences among foreign-born Hispanics, U.S.-born Hispanics, U.S.-born non-Hispanic Blacks, and U.S.-born non-Hispanic Whites. Prevalence estimates and multivariable models of ever tobacco use, current tobacco use, and self-identified smoking status were calculated. results: U.S.-born Hispanics, Blacks, and Whites exhibit the highest levels of ever and current use across a range of tobacco products, whereas foreign-born Hispanics, particularly women, exhibit the lowest ever and current use of most products and are least likely to describe themselves as smokers. Controlling for socioeconomic covariates, current tobacco use is generally lower for most minority groups relative to Whites. Social or occasional smoking, however, is higher among U.S.-born Hispanics and Blacks. conclusions: The high level of tobacco use among U.S.-born young adults foreshadows substantial tobacco-related morbidity and mortality in the coming decades. Foreign-born Hispanic young adults, particularly women, exhibit the lowest levels of tobacco use. Future studies of tobacco use must differentiate racial/ethnic groups by nativity to better understand patterns of tobacco use. © Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

Publication Title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research